Newens: The Original Maids Of Honour

Having now let the flat, it might be a while before I come back and enjoy one of the delicious Maids Of Honour cakes at Newens.

Before we delve into the paper bag to retrieve the 2 cakes, a little bit of history is in order as these original cakes have quite a pedigree…

The first Richmond Maids Of Honour shop can be traced back to the early 18th century and the cakes soon became a feature of taking tea in fashionable Richmond. The (tradition) of selling and making Maids Of Honour moved to Kew in 1860 where the shop can still be found to this day with the fifth generation of The Newens Family continue to serve the long standing speciality “Maids Of Honour”.

Original Maids Of Honour are sweet curd cheese pastries, and make a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. The advice is to eat them warm, though they are still delicious when cold. With rigorous testing over the last 10 years or so, it seems that each pastry is lovingly handmade with each disc of puff pastry varying slightly, along with the dollop of sweet curd filling.

The recipe is said to be secret, though several websites purport to have it. Failing making them at home the only other place Maids Of Honour can be located is at the shop in Kew.


7 thoughts on “Newens: The Original Maids Of Honour

  1. I actually thought the tradition was older than that. I was also expecting a few more cream cake and dessert descriptions from the KGH ;-)


  2. The tradition is older. It is believed that Henry the Eighth (1491-1547) was the first to use the name to describe these cakes when he met Ann Boleyn and other Maids Of Honour eating the cakes at his Royal Household of Richmond Palace. It is the that shop dates back 300 years.

  3. I miss the Maids of Honour cakes so much. If I’m able to make a trip back across the pond I will be sure to stop there again.

  4. I’m sorry, this is not a review of Maids of Honour but a gripe about Newens that I think people should be aware of.

    The homemade food at Newens is certainly good, but this I just wanted anyone who is planning visiting there to be aware – check what you are getting and paying for before ordering.

  5. The traditional Maid of Honour tarts are absolutely delicious and I remain a huge fan and always bring visitors from overseas to this quaint little tea shop. The receipe is indeed a secret and I have not found anything similar. I did have some portugese tarts in Macau (China) which I thought were similar but it was no match for the Maid of Honours!

    My only gripe about this tea shop is I have noticed the tarts have gotten smaller and the price has gradually gotten steeper over the years!!

    If anyone has the secret receipe please pass it on!

  6. I would greatly appreicate it if anyone would know how to get ahold of John or Kathleen Newens. I am from the USA and have been doing a family tree. Please have them e-mail me.
    Katherine Newens

  7. Hi Katherine, I am also very interested in the Newens family. My paternal grandmother was a Nellie Newens and was somehow connected to the family that have the cake shop. She often spoke of Alfred Newens and I have photographs of some of his work done with icing. Incidently my Dad’s name was Alfred, a family connection I’m sure. Please let me know if my Gran’s name has popped up in your research, Regards, Alan.

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